SPIRIT of Gold Coast Whale Watching has announced the 2018 winners of its annual search for the Gold Coast’s Young Whale Warrior.
The coveted title has been awarded to not one but two young local environmentalists, Max and Emma Rutherford, siblings from Clover Hill State School who impressed judges with their individual yet creative submissions demonstrating their love and commitment to protecting the giant mammals of the ocean.
Max, 12 and Emma, 10 were selected from a substantial pool of entries from Gold Coast primary school students between years 3 to 6. Children were asked to submit a video, drawing or written entry to best demonstrate their dedication to marine conservation and suitability for the Young Whale Warrior title.
As the winners of the title, Max and Emma receive a family season pass for Spirit of Gold Coast along with a prize pack including a T-shirt, hat and the ultimate day out on the boat with Spirit of Gold Coast marine biologist Zara King.
Max and Emma share a mutual concern for the amount of plastic in our oceans and are looking forward to learning more about the majestic marine mammals and their fragile ocean ecosystem.
“I love whales and everyone who knows me knows I am passionate about the war on waste and the environment,” said Max.
“I know I will be a great ambassador for the Spirit of Gold Coast as the Young Whale Warrior, I can’t think of anything that better compliments my passion.”
Spirit of Gold Coast Whale Watching spokeswoman Angela Del Bianco said her team created the annual award to instigate an opportunity to connect with the next generation of environmentalists, marine biologists and activists.
“With the Humpback Highway on our doorstep, we feel it is our responsibility to create opportunities for young people in our community to connect with and protect this natural phenomenon,” Angela said.
“Our team were so impressed with the high calibre of entrants received for this years’ competition and we are amazed by the passion and love evident, not only for whales but for the preservation of our natural environment as a whole.
“On behalf of the team at Spirit of Gold Coast I would like to extend our congratulations to Max and Emma and we look forward to connecting with them on board the Spirit of Gold Coast and expanding their knowledge of the animals they have shown an interest in conserving.”
The Young Whale Warrior competition kicked off in July with Mrs Del Bianco and Ms King visiting a number of local schools to undertake educational talks with the aim of nurturing the next generation of marine life guardianship and conservation.
“I am looking forward to passing on my knowledge of the marine environment to the next generation,” said Ms King.
“I hope the Young Whale Warriors will learn new information about whales and the oceans that surround us and I hope they will be enthusiastic in wanting to pass the information along to help save our environment.”
The inaugural winner of the 2017 Young Whale Warrior title, Bobby Walls was also a student of Clover Hill State School. With a strong environmental focus, the school’s curriculum is successfully fostering a new generation of aware eco-warriors.